Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will hold separate talks with the leaders of Russia, Britain, Germany and India on the sidelines next weekend at the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg.

When meeting with President Vladimir Putin, who will chair this year’s summit, Koizumi will urge the Russian leader to take up the issues of North Korea’s recent missile launches, nuclear ambitions and abduction of Japanese and other nationals at the G8 meeting, according to government officials.

Japan plans to seek the adoption of a joint summit statement denouncing North Korea’s missile launches.

The Koizumi-Putin meeting is scheduled to be held just before the start of the summit.

Koizumi is also expected to discuss with Putin bilateral energy cooperation, touching on such projects as an oil pipeline reaching Russia’s Pacific coast.

On the long-standing territorial dispute over Russian-held islands off Hokkaido, the two will simply confirm their commitment to pursuing an eventual resolution, Government sources said.

During his talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Angela Merkel scheduled for July 16, Koizumi will seek their support in issuing a resolute message on North Korea.

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